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Elan S4 being awakened after 35 year slumber.

PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2019 6:30 pm
by Elanintheforest
At last I’m getting onto my old S4 convertible to bring it back to life after it being parked up for 35 years.

I’m in information and parts gathering mode currently and the first thing I’m sorting out before stripping the car down is the engine bay wiring. It’s a mess!

The car is super-original in nearly all respects, never having been apart. But it was modified to have an alternator back in the 70s, along with having Fiamm (non-air) horns fitted requiring a relay. That in turn operates from a flick switch under the dash, along with a manual cooling fan switch. The normal horn feed seems to be chopped on the loom, and I can’t yet figure how the standard horn wiring works!

I’ve found the three joined wires (Heavy brown, Brown / Blue and Blue for main feeds) but one Brown Blue is missing (either ign or light switch, but it has to be there somewhere!!) The original ‘E’ (black) ‘D’ (Brown / Yellow gen supply) ‘WL’ (Brown Yellow ign) and ‘F’ (Brown / Green Gen Field) have all been chopped at the loom with no insulation, and new leads to the alternator wired in separately….a real botch job, but with the loom unpicked simple enough to sort…I think!

I have a couple of questions / requests to get going. Does the S4 use an RB 340? I assume it’s mounted behind the chassis plate, but could someone pop up a photo or two to show it’s orientation and where it’s fixed?

Does the S4 have a cooing fan relay normally? I believe the Sprint does, but no sign of one on this car.

Final question (for now!). I think I have the headlamp relay bits sorted out logically. My car seems to have lost it’s headlamp flasher relay somewhere down the line, with quite a few spare wires and the flasher unit sitting limply in the bay. Does anyone have a photo of the relays in place for an S4?

I’d be very interested in hearing from anybody who has photos of a recently restored S4 if restored to original condition. Some time, a long time ago, a new set of copper brake pipes were install, or rather, thrown into the engine bay and bent roughly to shape. I’d love to see a proper installation to compare!

Here are some photos to amuse.

Mark Kemspon

Re: Elan S4 being awakened after 35 year slumber.

PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2019 9:15 pm
by MarkDa
Here's a shot of Sprint regulator

dsc_0056_8.jpg and
RB340 Sprint

Re: Elan S4 being awakened after 35 year slumber.

PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2019 9:24 pm
by Elanintheforest
Thanks Mark that's great. That will narrow down my search / probing for the holes, which I think must have been bunged up with black mastic a long time ago making them pretty well invisible now.

Re: Elan S4 being awakened after 35 year slumber.

PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2019 9:46 pm
by MarkDa
Here's a picture of my headlight relays - I can't guarantee factory location but they're in best place to match loom, which felt right to me.


dsc_0011_15_resized_2.jpg and
Headlight Relays



It's a new loom as my old one was full of repairs - which I only found after spending for ever cleaning all the oil and [email protected] off.

Re: Elan S4 being awakened after 35 year slumber.

PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2019 9:58 pm
by Grizzly
elansprint_headlightrelays.jpg
elansprint_headlightrelays.jpg (69.17 KiB) Viewed 1122 times



Elanintheforest wrote:Does the S4 have a cooing fan relay normally? I believe the Sprint does, but no sign of one on this car.


My S4-Sprint didn't have a fan relay but it does now ;)

Re: Elan S4 being awakened after 35 year slumber.

PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2019 10:15 pm
by MarkDa
Rereading your request I'm not convinced my relay layout will suit you if you still have the flashing system.

Re: Elan S4 being awakened after 35 year slumber.

PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2019 10:17 pm
by mark030358
Some pics of a restored S4

I can email u lots of engine bay shots, only difference are. The strombergs... pm me if you want some.

Thanks

Re: Elan S4 being awakened after 35 year slumber.

PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2019 10:40 pm
by MarkDa
I think Grizzly's relay orientation is more authentic.
I tend to agree with the electric fan relay comment.
This S4 wiring diagram may help with colours for flasher.

S4 electrical diagram clean png.pdf
S4 Wiring Diagram.
(1.48 MiB) Downloaded 38 times



In picture 4-5 there do seem to be yellow-blue wires one of which is attached to the flasher and another loose with grey connector which might be what you're looking for?

Re: Elan S4 being awakened after 35 year slumber.

PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2019 8:15 am
by Elanintheforest
Thanks for the response guys, much appreciated.

Mark (Mark030358) I will PM you for more photos if that's OK. My S4 is from January 1970, and had Strombergs originally, and it has the same washer bottle as yours, so I think they are the same variant, or pretty close!

Mark (MarkDA) I think you're right that the setup Chris has shown appeals to my need for originality, in appearance at least. I'm hoping to be able to repair my loom as the wires that are intact seem to still be flexible and will go again. I've just been repairing a loom from a Cortina I brought over from Zimbabwe last year that had been nibbled by rats and monkeys, so I'm now experienced with taking looms apart, replacing the occasional wire and re-wrapping them! I do have a couple of old looms which I can pich the right coloured cable from with the right ends, so it should look original in the end.

Chris, are the relays in your picture the Lucas 6RA relays? Those are the ones I was thinking of using for the main, dip and flash circuits, although originally the flash circuit seems to have used a different relay to the other two (none of which were the 4 pin 6RA ones, but I see they can be adapted). The two I have seem to be mounted a bit higher up on the wing, which makes the top one inaccessible, so the position of yours looks to be a lot more practical, and not in the way of anything.

Thanks again guys.
Mark

Re: Elan S4 being awakened after 35 year slumber.

PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2019 8:46 am
by trw99
"Chris, are the relays in your picture the Lucas 6RA relays?"

Mark, I think Chris will have to ask the late Mick Miller for the answer to that question!

Tim

Re: Elan S4 being awakened after 35 year slumber.

PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2019 5:40 pm
by Elanintheforest
A nice early one with the writing on the cam cover the correct way around!

Re: Elan S4 being awakened after 35 year slumber.

PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2019 6:31 pm
by Grizzly
trw99 wrote:"Chris, are the relays in your picture the Lucas 6RA relays?"

Mark, I think Chris will have to ask the late Mick Miller for the answer to that question!

Tim

Yes and no..... Yes it's a library picture (didn't know it was Mick Millers car, googled the image in an attempt to be helpful) and No i don't need to ask him as mine had the original relays fitted in exactly the same position (just didn't have any pictures of my car on the computer i was on at the time)

Yes i had to use 6RA relays all round as the different one was unobtainable and had packed up, the 6RA looks identical to the original if you are not looking to closely so wasn't to bothered about it (i have it storage with the rest of the bits i didn't use). Frankly i'm not a fan of the Lucas relays and wish i had gone for a modern alternative.

Re: Elan S4 being awakened after 35 year slumber.

PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2019 7:05 pm
by Elanintheforest
Thanks Chris. I'm OK with the Lucas relays as I have a few old Fords and an Elan that still have their original ones some 50 years later! They do look the part, and the positioning of them on the Yellow Sprint looks just right Thanks for posting it up.

I think I have enough info now to strip out a part of the loom and re-instate the dynamo circuit with RB340, and the lighting circuit with the 6RA relays. Until I come to test them and nothing works!

Thanks again guys.
Mark

Re: Elan S4 being awakened after 35 year slumber.

PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2019 11:47 pm
by Famous Frank
Beautiful! Congratulations!

After sitting for 35 years,
- remove the fuel tank and have it professionally cleaned.
- Blow out the fuel line,
- Bleed the brakes,
- rebuild the calipers if needed,
- replace the tires
- replace the donuts with either new donuts of CV joints
- have the radiator professionally cleaned or flushed.
- replace the wiper blades. ( I'd hate to see a non scratched windshield get messed up because the rubber peeled off the blade arm.
- install a batter kill switch
etc.

All the best!
Frank

Re: Elan S4 being awakened after 35 year slumber.

PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2019 8:49 am
by Elanintheforest
Thanks Frank. I'm doing this one a little differently.

I've restored a few cars over the years, and usually down to the last nut and bolt, and to perfection. I then end up with a car that is too good to use, or at least, that makes me very nervous leaving it the pub car park.

This one has very original bodywork, paint and interior, so all that will be left as is. The chassis needs replacing due to rot, so I'll pop the shell off the rolling chassis, replace the chassis and restore everything that goes back onto the chassis.

So the car should be new under the skin, with a little patina commensurate with it being a 50 year old car. The engine bay will be tidied and painted whist it's apart, with the only concession to bling being re-painted bumpers and wheels.

Oh, and a new hood (top). This is the original factory hood that was folded up for the 35 years of being off the road, and made a comfy nest for a few mice.

I spent the day yesterday cleaning the head up and seeing what it needed. It's one of the best heads I've seen for a long time, and a very early one. Big valves and Sprint cams were fitted to this Weber head when the Stromberg head was replaced in the 1970s, so I'll keep it on the car as a period mod. It took just 5 minutes on each valve to lap them in, and the gaps were spot on, with shims in the 100 thou range for inlets, and 140 range for exhaust. Not too bad!! The Stromberg head, carburettors and airbox are carefully tucked away in case I get the urge to go factory original at some stage (but I doubt that will happen!)

I haven't got the short motor out yet, but the bores are like new as are the pistons and the fit in the bore. I don't think this engine is going to take much to re-fresh.

Unlike the hood!!